Q: Today’s question is nice and simple - what do you make of the result and the performance against Burton?
Neil Green says...
First of all, Burton look a really good team. They passed it around very confidently for a side at this level and gave us all sorts of problems down the wings. It’s amazing they’re floating around in mid-table, but they’re hit form now and should be a force to be reckoned with in this league next season.
We’ve had momentum lately, but with a number of key players out injured and playing a fourth game in nine days we inevitably looked tired. It’s a measure of what a good place we’re in that we can be disappointed with a draw against such a good team under these circumstances. Even though we looked a bit leggy, we still created a lot of chances.
It’s hard not to feel unlucky when you hit the woodwork three times, and your opponent scores with a freak own goal.
In terms of individuals, it’s good to see Oviedo back and looking motivated. I was gutted to see McGeouch go off injured as he’s been our best midfielder in the last couple of games. Hopefully it’s not for long.
Leadbitter’s delivery from set pieces proved vital again. Wyke was desperately unlucky not to score one of the many chances that came his way. Morgan was a bit anonymous, but had his moments. The only really bad performance was Flanagan, who had a bit of a nightmare, but he’s been pretty solid lately so hopefully it’s just a blip. I loved the pace and directness of Kimpioka when he came on, and I hope he’s used as an option from the bench more in the run in, as he terrified Burton’s tiring defenders.
Overall it was a weird evening, and with the nature of the game it felt an oddly anticlimactic way to finally break into the top two, but we’re there now and have promotion firmly in our own hands.
Craig Davies says...
Tired and disjointed. Saying that - if Wyke had put one of his chances in, or if Leadbitter’s shot had not hit the post and crept in, we’d all be praising a hard fought victory.
The margins between moaning and complimenting are very slim in football.
There was no victory, but it was hard fought. I actually didn’t think Burton were up to much, I simply felt we were our own worst enemy at times. Without the guile of McGeady and perhaps to some extent the leadership of Catts we looked a little unbalanced.
Add to that the sheer volume of our matches of late and it’s no surprise we appeared fatigued in defence and full of holes in the middle.
I’ve read on a couple of write ups that Grigg basically worked hard but had nothing to show for it. Barring one shot in the first half, where he did well on the turn, he hardly appeared on my radar - not even for the ‘unseen’ graft he is often praised for. It was no surprise he was subbed.
Wyke was what I want from him. Bruising, physical and bothered the centre halves all night. He was unlucky not to score a couple - and probably should have scored one for sure, but he seems like a different player and his re-emergence could be vital and an extremely crucial stage of the season.
We were also a little unlucky to concede a freakish goal that was unexpected and odd.
Overall, both the result and the performance were a little disappointing after a whirlwind week, but after such a tumultuous 9 days, it’s no surprise we looked knackered and jaded.
I always thought we’d need to win 7 out the last 9 to gain automatic promotion and if this is one of the draws I won’t be complaining come the end of the season.
Chris Wynn says...
My immediate reaction is that it feels like a missed opportunity, however, a point does put us second with game in hand. We did have to come from behind which is fun at times but you can only get away with that for so long.
In terms of the performance, I’ve now come to the conclusion that I have never seen two Sunderland central defenders so poor on the the ball... they are awful.
None of the fans trust them on the ball and none of the players trust them to pick out a pass.
As much as I think Wyke was decent he became the get out of jail free card for Flanagan and Baldwin and they didn’t even manage that very well.
Our play looked disjointed when it started from the back and Leadbitter virtually had to go back and take the ball off them so they wouldn’t cause more damage.
Burton’s goal was pretty dire defending and giving the ball away in our own half is an accident waiting to happen.
The players and fans seem to wake up in the last 10 minutes or so for one last push and could have won it, but Burton were decent and gave as good as they got.
Hopefully we’ll be thinking this was a good point come the end of the season.
On to Coventry on Saturday, and then the Easter period where we could get some breathing space if results go our way.